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Group 65

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  • Group 65

    Mike,

    What was Group 65?

    http://www.ie.lspace.org/fandom/even.../group-65.html
    The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

  • #2
    Berry, Mike, a bit more info here with more pictures, and this link mentions an associated musical project The Bellyflops:

    http://trufen.net/fandom/05/02/03/0750226.shtml

    The page includes separate links to both projects (click on the individual titles). It would be interesting to know what happened to the film and the tapes of the recording session. That's a nice moody shot of Claire Peake...
    'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

    Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

    Comment


    • #3
      Yep. If that Terry Pratchett had stuck with me, he'd have been famous by now. I don't remember if his head actually fitted the boot. That, of course, was the test of tests.
      There's a tape of Suddenly It's The Bellyflops and I can't remember which one of us kept the only 10" LP.
      I think almost from the beginning I tended to write to the imagined reader -- Sojan stories were juveniles, Golden Barge was far more ambitious. However, I doubt if there were any more drafts (i.e. one)
      on any of that material. Hawkmoon, BTM, Final Programme and most other books until the 80s never went to more than one draft. Even current Elric books are pretty much the same as written, though I'm inclined to go over them a bit more and there's been some minor copy-editing from Warner. There was no second draft of Gloriana and no serious second draft of Byzantium Endures (as I recall -- but I could be wrong there). Indeed the last volume of The Dancers at the End of Time was the first time I ever rewrote and did a second draft on a book and that was partly because I got so interested in the characters I realised I'd forgotten to put the science fiction in! Gloriana took six weeks, which was the longest I'd spent on a book until Byzantium Endures, which took five months. I don't say that some of those books didn't NEED a second draft, but few of them got one until BE. Revenge of the Rose and Fortress of the Pearl were also one draft books. Any corrections were done in ink on the manuscript itself. After I started working on computer
      in the mid-90s, I started doing more extensive drafts because it was easier to do so. I've often wondered what the books would have been like if I'd not been so lazy.
      Group 65 was put together to make the movie with Claire, Pete Taylor and others (Pete and Ivor Maine are now, sadly, both dead). Having abandoned the movie (we ran out of money for film stock) we then decided to make a record for the 65 London World Convention. The idea was to play the acetate and take orders for it. Sadly, we were so drunk throughout the entire convention that we didn't play the record once and therefore received no orders. One of the few moments from that convention was that John W. Campbell made me cry... :)

      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
      The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
      Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
      The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
      Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

      Comment


      • #4
        Dare I ask how Campbell managed to do that?

        Comment


        • #5
          I was on a panel with him. The previous night we'd drunkenly done a spoof version of the event, with me taking the role of Campbell and making various fascistic utterances. When I actually got on the panel I was horribly hungover -- and my supposedly exaggerated spoof of Campbell turned out to be not even close to the actuality. He suggested, for instance, that black people naturally wanted to be slaves ('the worker bee, denied the chance to work, dies' -- first time I heard the bell jar
          theory, too) and the best thing which could happen to them (the Watts riots had just taken place in LA) was for them to be re-enslaved. I managed four words in the whole panel -- 'Science Fiction -- Jesus Christ...' (well, more than four words if you count 'boo hoo hoo') and
          collapsed into speechlessness. Cambell leaned forward solicitously to ask the chairman and asked if I was feeling all right...

          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
          The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
          The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

          Comment


          • #7
            Wow, restrained choice of words. I wouldn't have been nearly as eloquent...but I would have kept the 'boo hoo hoo.'

            Obviously this was after equal-rights and Marting Luther King and all that...But after getting a close aproximation of their freedom, they realised they liked working for the 'Masser' and wanted to be whipped in the cotton fields again?

            Well, what little respect I had for the 'Master of the Golden Age' is well and truly dead. I know its easy to say 'oh, its okay because they grew up in the times when those thoughts were accepted ideas'...but when has rasicism ever been nothing more than hatred & fear of the different?

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by manmiles
              Well, what little respect I had for the 'Master of the Golden Age' is well and truly dead. I know its easy to say 'oh, its okay because they grew up in the times when those thoughts were accepted ideas'...but when has rasicism ever been nothing more than hatred & fear of the different?
              When will certain people rise above the inhibitions we might feel towards knowing other people/cultures. It does not create a 'productive society' i think. But one can sometimes wonder? Is it the slaver who is the slave of his own emotions as well as greed? Or the "neegra" working the fields.

              And is fear of the "different" natural in any way?
              (I hope i'm not sounding apologetic towards rascism)?

              Comment


              • #9
                Indeed, fear of 'the different' is 'natural' inasmuch as hostility towards slight variation in the appearance or behaviour of conspecifics reflects the innate tendency to biological (and hence social) conservatism; the tendency to preserve a fairly 'fixed' and stable social profile (a simplistic model derived from, especially, the social insects, promoted by the Nazis as eugenics, and widely criticised (satirised?) in SF by, eg. Nigel Kneale [Quatermass & the Pit]) (Hark to Perdix the anthropologist - not!). The degree of hostility or evasion varies with the magnitude of 'the difference', and not always linearly. One village may be normally antipathetic towards the neighbouring settlement, but actively identify and cooperate with their usual competitors in the face of a threat from an adjacent province, whilst a whole country of relatively diverse genetic (and hence phenotypic) variation will bond in the face of a 'foreign' threat (the 'Daily Mail Paranoic Effect' as it may be termed). Presumably, all of humanity would unite in the face of invasion by aggressive (or at least competitive) LGMs, before returning to the normal local game of Terran Genocide.

                The irony of the 'natural xenophobia' of human perception is that the wider the genetic variation between a male and female (within one species), the more 'hybrid vigour' their 'cross-bred' offspring will display; in other words, the greater the degree of hybridisation, the more (biologically) 'superior' the offspring. Interesting that a great proportion of organisational and religious dogma evolved to prevent the biologically disadvantageous mating of closely-related individuals, whilst the same process tended towards the encouragement of hostility to the 'significantly other'. The hostility trait may be regarded as essential to the survival of any particular social group - but only assuming that other members of the species are equally hostile, at least in terms of competition for resources, if not as regards direct desire for destruction.

                How interesting it would be to model human evolution with the xenophobic tendency suppressed, but maintaining the self-defending trait against incestuous matches! By now, we'd all be pretty much the same shape and colour and have the same lingo! Good for world-spanning mutual tolerance and understanding; bad for variety in restaurants. But probably what we are heading for if we can (ha!) keep going for a few more chiliads*. I've always thought GB is halfway to being a good 'proto-model' for this sort of homogenisation. In the wake of the implosion of the Empire, the intensive racial mixing and subsequent 'diffusion' across those racial boundaries that we are beginning to experience here is quite encouraging. He says, popping another happy pill and wiping his roseate specs. Oh, well, you never know.

                I was rather touched by the image of a weeping Moorcock slumped over a lectern (or desk). At least you didn't hurl, Mike; the combination of hangover and the stomach-churning rhetoric you were absorbing sounds pretty emetic.

                *A great alternative word for 'millenium'; NOT PR for Mexican food.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Campbell was used to US sf conventions and apparently had never been queried before. This was at a London convention with a sophisticated audience, not by any means just drawn from sf fandom. There were many questions from the floor and Campbell simply couldn't field them.
                  He wound up, rather as one of the generals in Dr Strangelove, calling on God as his witness!
                  He also talked of his family ancestors as having been Highland barbarians (and therefore wholesome stock) apparently unaware that most of his audience knew the Campbells as 'the traitor Campbells' and certainly didn't identify them as vital barbarians. An extraordinary exhibition. In one sense Campbell was the old bull and John Brunner, who was also on the panel with me, was able to keep his cool and counter every argument JWC raised. The audience did the rest. I don't think the poor old bugger enjoyed himself very much. I remember him
                  saying something about political regimes not lasting more than a few score years and Bill Butler asking him if he didn't think of the Vatican City as a rather successful regime.

                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                  The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                  Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                  The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                  Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Must have been interesting albeit excruciating. I recall Harlan Ellison, back in those days, saying that one of the requirements for getting published in Campbell's Analog was the ability to read or listen to Campbell's racist and wrongheaded editorializing. He used to say he scored alarmingly low on such a test. Obviously, he was not alone.

                    John Brunner is very much missed. An interesting writer, as well as a decent man, it seemed to me. Stand on Zanzibar and The Sheep Look Up, for all their flaws, were important books. The Traveller in Black may not be "important," but I liked it, too.

                    LSN

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                      Must have been interesting albeit excruciating. I recall Harlan Ellison, back in those days, saying that one of the requirements for getting published in Campbell's Analog was the ability to read or listen to Campbell's racist and wrongheaded editorializing. He used to say he scored alamingly low on such a test. Obviously, he was not alone.

                      John Brunner is very much missed. An interesting writer, as well as a decent man, it seemed to me. Stand on Zanzibar and The Sheep Look Up, for all their flaws, were important books. The Traveller in Black may not be "important," but I liked it, too.

                      LSN
                      I'm sorry, I know it must have been shocking having to listen to the horrible old racist reactionary, but I suddenly got a very clear picture of Mike in a black leather jacket, lurching forward, spluttering, "Science fiction! ... Jesus Christ!" and bursting in to tears. I'm afraid it made me laugh, quite a bit. :lol:

                      I used to have a paperback with a selection of John Brunner short stories, set in, or around, Soho and featuring SF and trad jazz. They were rather good, very amusing and quite original. Unfortunately, the book got left behind, somewhere on the western fringes of Britain, during my travels.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        It's difficult to imagine British sf in the '60s without remembering Brunner, along with his slightly older contemporaries, Aldiss and (of course) Ballard. These writers were holdovers from sf of the '50s, but they flourished in the '60s and beyond. All of them had literary ambitions that went well beyond the bounds of the rather stodgy sf of the '50s. Ballard has his fame and following. Aldiss had a couple of books that were bestsellers in the '70s, if memory serves. Brunner won a Hugo for Stand on Zanzibar, but a damned rocket ship trophy must have seemed cold comfort for his exertions.

                        Don't forget Brunner's novels of the '60s, The Whole Man and The Squares of the City, and The Jagged Orbit. A late book of his that was not much admired, but which I rather liked, was The Crucible of Time.

                        A full scale consideration of the merits and demerits of Brunner's work is way outside the scope of this thread. He deserves to be remembered, though.

                        Brunner was the guy who left school at 16, telling his headmaster that he'd like to have continued, but it was starting to interfere with his education. (Or so Frederik Pohl used to tell it.) First novel published at 17. Not quite as "precocious" as Mr. Moorcock, but close.

                        Sorry to interrupt this thread.

                        LSN

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          For some years Brunner and I were both thought of as the enfants terribles of the sf world. A publisher I know is interested in doing a collection of John's old 'space operas' -- including his first The Wanton of Argus. Great stuff. In some ways the best time to write pulp fiction is when you're a teenager. Come to think of it, didn't Fred edit Marvel Stories when he was about 18. Be hard for youngsters to get the same breaks these days. John was inclined to make enemies in the sf world and I still believe he'd be better represented today and not died such a disappointed man if those enemies hadn't shafted him so badly. Ballard and I remained friends of his, in spite of his sometimes tactless manner.
                          I always saw a rather shy, decent man, given to anxieties he would scarcely admit to. I'm glad to say that there seems to be something of a Brunner going on at the moment.

                          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                          The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                          The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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